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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my dad sometimes brings up this experience he had when he was little (in the sixties), about him playing with this venomous and rare snake. My dad said it was white and with a perfect, red diamond pattern down its back, he played with it for hours without knowing it was venomous. Later, after releasing it, my dad went to the library and found a picture of the snake, he hasn't seen anything about it since. We seem to think it was either extremely rare or extinct now. Can someone shed some light on this?
 

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Was this in Virginia? Maybe an albino C. horridus? I seem to remember something about a light color phase of Timbers...not certain though and it wouldn't be diamonds. I'm sticking with the shrooms theory.
 

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Well, its not poisonous, but I would say a corn snake pretty much fits that discription.
 

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There are two other possibilities that I can think of offhand but it depends heavily on where he was living when he found the snake. If he was in the Coastal Plains area of Virginia, there is also the possibility of Northern Scarlet Snakes or Coastal Plains Milksnakes...

Ed
 

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Hmm. It depends heavily where he was located in the state when he found the snake. There are a few other options.. the first two are the scarlet snake and the coastal plains milksnake (if he was in the coastal plains regions of the state). The third is a red phase Eastern Hognose...

Ed
 

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Eastern Milk Snake? the red phase hognose came to mind as well Ed. Neither are venomous.


Northern Water Snake woulld be another option, they can be reaally variable in color and are often mistaken for venomous snakes. Whenever someone says "I saw a cottonmouth" in my area, it's invariably a northern water.



Actually, now that I think about it, probably not a northern water for the same reason I doubt it was one of the eastern venomous snakes... they are quick to bite.
 

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Actually, now that I think about it, probably not a northern water for the same reason I doubt it was one of the eastern venomous snakes... they are quick to bite.
Haha, I was going to say the same thing when you pointed out the water snakes, aggressive little buggers. Around here, though, I'd have to agree with the milk snake verdict. Although I've never seen one that was white, there sure is a lot of variability, and I have seen ones with nice, red markings.

Pat
 

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So my dad sometimes brings up this experience he had when he was little (in the sixties), about him playing with this venomous and rare snake. My dad said it was white and with a perfect, red diamond pattern down its back, he played with it for hours without knowing it was venomous. Later, after releasing it, my dad went to the library and found a picture of the snake, he hasn't seen anything about it since. We seem to think it was either extremely rare or extinct now. Can someone shed some light on this?
Was this snake an adult or baby? The color patterns can vary and above all esle can appear much more vivid in young specimens... Also, Hognosed Snakes ARE venomous, they are a rear fang delivery species...

JBear
 

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Was this snake an adult or baby? The color patterns can vary and above all esle can appear much more vivd in young specimens... Also, Hognosed Snakes ARE venomous, they are a rear fang delivery species...

JBear
Is this technically correct? Rear fanged, yes, but it has been a back and forth for many years whether they are actually venomous. I was under the impression they are currently classified as non-venomous. Either way, the toxin on an easter hognose isn't generally dangerous to humans.

Pat
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
the way he describes it, i don't think it was ever identified as a species.
 

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Is this technically correct? Rear fanged, yes, but it has been a back and forth for many years whether they are actually venomous. I was under the impression they are currently classified as non-venomous. Either way, the toxin on an easter hognose isn't generally dangerous to humans.

Pat
Yeah, they're not classified as venomous. They do have a Duvernoy’s gland, which is what delivers a mild toxin into the snake's saliva, but they don't have the ability to inject anything.
 

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Is this technically correct? Rear fanged, yes, but it has been a back and forth for many years whether they are actually venomous. I was under the impression they are currently classified as non-venomous. Either way, the toxin on an easter hognose isn't generally dangerous to humans.

Pat
If you look into the literature there are some significant reponses to bites see this article Local envenoming by the Western hognose snake (Heterodon nasicus): A case report and review of medically significant Heterodon bites If it takes 5 months to recover from the bite, there is a strong case for venom...

if you want to pm me your e-mail I can send you the pdf of the article.

Ed
 

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If you look into the literature there are some significant reponses to bites see this article Local envenoming by the Western hognose snake (Heterodon nasicus): A case report and review of medically significant Heterodon bites If it takes 5 months to recover from the bite, there is a strong case for venom...

if you want to pm me your e-mail I can send you the pdf of the article.

Ed
PM'd you for that article. In all the reading I've done, I don't think I've read of any significant reactions to a hognose bite. I've always been under the impression the toxin in the saliva was like that of the North American garters that were only toxic enough to take down their small prey items.

Pat
 

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PM'd you for that article. In all the reading I've done, I don't think I've read of any significant reactions to a hognose bite. I've always been under the impression the toxin in the saliva was like that of the North American garters that were only toxic enough to take down their small prey items.

Pat
^My understanding as well, I'm not familiar at all with midwestern/western snakes, but I have never heard of anyone showing symptoms from an eastern hognose bite.

Then again, you could probably do a jig on the things without them biting you, the ones I have handled are VERY docile..... which would explain OP's father not getting bitten, and our current discussion would explain his surprise when he found out it was venomous (albeit marginally). Along with the extreme variability of the species, my vote's going with the hognose on this one.
 

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^My understanding as well, I'm not familiar at all with midwestern/western snakes, but I have never heard of anyone showing symptoms from an eastern hognose bite.

Then again, you could probably do a jig on the things without them biting you, the ones I have handled are VERY docile..... which would explain OP's father not getting bitten, and our current discussion would explain his surprise when he found out it was venomous (albeit marginally). Along with the extreme variability of the species, my vote's going with the hognose on this one.
There are actually some studies done on Eastern Hognose bites (and cases of envenomation as well)... In the paper I referenced above, there was a recorded bite from an eastern that caused significant symptoms as well as taking four months to resolve.

There are other cases, while I worked at the Zoo we would periodically have the specialists come and discuss snakebite treatment with us both for how we would deal with onsite envenomations but also so we could advise if we got called for antivenom. One of the specialists had a nice slide show of a bite that occured down in Virginia.

Ed
 

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If you look into the literature there are some significant reponses to bites see this article Local envenoming by the Western hognose snake (Heterodon nasicus): A case report and review of medically significant Heterodon bites If it takes 5 months to recover from the bite, there is a strong case for venom...

if you want to pm me your e-mail I can send you the pdf of the article.

Ed
Ed,

The abstract itself states: "Although hognose snakes may uncommonly produce medically significant bites, they should not be considered dangerous or venomous."

Where did the OP run off to? We've gotten considerably sidetracked...
 
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